Friday, December 25, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Raleigh icon and Hall of Fame racing legend Ray Price passed away in his sleep last evening. He was 78 years of age. Ray was a native of Johnston County and is survived by his wife Jean, his daughter Robin, and grandchildren Rebecca and Jordan Richardson.
“Today we mourn the passing of a tremendous man, a dedicated husband and parent, and a legend in motorsports,” said General Manager Mark Hendrix, Ray Price, Inc. “Ray Price was a North Carolina icon with a huge heart, an unwavering passion for sharing his love of motorcycling, and a dedication to philanthropy and community service.”
Information on funeral arrangements will be provided as details become available.
Ray Price was actively involved in the Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team, based in Raleigh. The team is the defending two-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Harley-Davidson Top Fuel Drag Racing Champions for 2014 and 2015.
Ray Price is best known for his many successes in motorcycle drag racing with the International Hot Rod Association, and National Hot Rod Association, among others. He is an inducted member of the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the N.C. Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame.
About Ray Price, Inc.
For more than 30 years, Ray Price Harley-Davidson and Ray Price Triumph in Raleigh, N.C. has served as one of the Southeast’s top motorcycle dealerships and home to Hall-of-Fame racing legend Ray Price. Earlier this year, Ray Price Harley-Davidson was honored by The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) with its “Retailer of the Year” award. Ray Price is also known for Capital City Bikefest, the annual motorcycle festival that draws 100,000 visitors into downtown Raleigh each September for the past 11 years.
This photo was taken by Christer Berg for his Portraits with a Purpose project which celebrates champions of community service.
The Ray Price Motorsports team sends sincere thanks to all their sponsors for their support. They include our Primary Sponsors: Akea, Ray Price Harley-Davidson, with special thanks to our Associate Sponsor Raleigh H.O.G. and our Support Sponsors: Vanson Leathers, PJ1 Products, RC Components, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches & Cables, Autolite Sparkplugs, Mickey Thompson Tires, Gates Belts, Nationwide Insurance, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, JIMS USA, Industrial Machine Solutions, Wiley X, LAT Racing Oils and Nitrolube. Additional thanks: Bill Hayes, Hargis Consulting, Ultra Pro Machining and Freddie Robbins.
Ray and I at the 2014 Ray Price Motorsports Expo in Raleigh
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
We are teaming up to do a swap meet and mag release party in Asbury Park NJ called Cheap Thrills! Sorry no Timonium show swap this year for us. We decided to take the show on the road and promise a much better time! Details to come! Stay tuned! Hit up firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
"Possibly one of the rarest American motorcycles ever assembled, the Cyclone powered, OHC 8-valve Reading Standard factory works racer is photographed here with legend Ray Creviston on the company dock in 1921. Beginning in 1903, Reading Standard began manufacturing high quality American motorcycles known for their durability, and from the start the Pennsylvania based company garnered accolades for their performance on the track.
By the teens many of the numerous American motorcycle manufacturers had begun to fade away leaving those with stakes in the racing game like Reading Standard, Indian, Excelsior, Flying Merkel, and a rising Harley-Davidson to grow even stronger. Commonly known as the "big three," Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior turned their dominance on the track into expansive distribution networks and iconic marketing campaigns. As a result Reading Standard, without the ever deepening pockets of their rivals gradually lost their competitive edge despite seeing their best sales years in the late teens. Riding a wave of enthusiasm as a result of the highest production numbers in the companies history, RS attempted to revitalize their company by developing a pure racer in 1921. The American motorcycle scene had become intensely competitive after WWI, and RS had to raise the stakes if they were going to compete with the race-proven thoroughbreds of Harley-Davidson and Indian. Unlike any other machine being produced by the company at the time, this unique cam driven overhead valve engine was actually salvaged from the parts bins of the once mighty Cyclone company, who closed their doors in 1916.
Creviston shipped out to Los Angeles in January of 1921 with the hopes of riding the new motorcycle to victory, a move the company hoped to reestablish the brand as a major player in the United States. A great deal of interest and speculation surrounded the new RS, everyone was curious as to the speed and performance given the combination of the esteemed reputation of RS with the high end performance of the Cyclone power plant. However, Creviston, who along with Dave Kinnie were instrumental in the development of the machine kept information about the its capabilities rather quiet, wanting to let the anticipation build until people, and journalists could witness it for themselves. His first stop on the west coast tour was set for the mile long Fresno Speedway board track, where early reports clocked him at over 100 mph. The machine’s debut at Fresno unfortunately began the sequence of heartbreak for Creviston and Reading Standard as the new hopeful heavyweight fell short due to technical issues with the motor. And as if to add insult to injury, Otto Walker, Captain of the legendary Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew decimated the competition that day becoming the first man to officially claim a race victory at an average speed of over 100 mph on board a “banjo” 2-cam, 8-valve HD.
Unfortunately the machine could not shake the bad luck it experienced at its debut at the Fresno Speedway, and the subsequent races that Creviston entered most often resulted in mechanical failure. The wave of hype that preceded Creviston and his wonderful Reading Standard “Eight” crested and broke as the machine consistently limped into the pits with the same mechanical issues that plagued Cyclone engineers in the teens. Despite a grand effort and by Creviston and the RS crew, the 1921 season came to a close without a single win. Sadly, the effort that was meant to bolster a struggling company in-turn drained the limited coffers of the Pennsylvania based Reading Standard and by 1922 the company was preparing to close its doors. Creviston went on to pen a contract with Indian, and in February of 1923 it was announced that the Cleveland Motorcycle Manufacturing Company had acquired Reading Standard, putting an end to the fourth longest running American motorcycle manufacturer, the prestigious Reading Standard."
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Harley-Davidson's Struggle Continues
November 11, 2015 - San Diego, CA
Harley-Davidson's Struggle Continues: How H-D Can Reverse It's Slump
After another disappointing quarterly report, slumps in domestic and international sales, and now the departure of Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson is in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The legendary Motor Company needs to make some changes to compete in this tough market - but what are they?
2015 has been a rough year for Harley-Davidson. Several consecutive disappointing earnings reports, big drops in global sales, and recently announced job cuts in Milwaukee are all hammering away at The Motor Company's reputation at once, and it is taking it's toll – HOG stock plummeted 15% to a two-year low after it's most recent earnings report.
But if all of that wasn't bad enough, now Harley-Davidson has a big internal shake-up to deal with – the resignation of long-time Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Office, Mark-Hans Richer.
Interestingly, Richer's departure comes after a recent announcement by the Motor Company that it was going to be making a large investment in 2016 to increase it's marketing efforts. Richer, at the helm of the company's marketing efforts for the last eight years, concentrated his efforts on recruiting new demographics to the brand - such as Millennials, African-Americans and Latinos, and female riders - while taking care to keep Harley's core customer happy. Campaigns such as the Project Rushmore release, product placement in Sons of Anarchy, and a huge advertising partnership with UFC were all orchestrated by his team. As a force of marketing, Harley-Davidson is undeniably a powerhouse, and Richer was it's strategy's chief architect for nearly a decade.
But marketing isn't really where the Motor Company is struggling – it's everywhere else that Harley is having problems. Polaris has been a juggernaut this year, and has taken a big bite out of the market for big American cruisers with its successful relaunch of the Indian brand. On the domestic front, a strong dollar has allowed import brands to slash prices while retaining margins - but Harley has refused to lower prices, citing a need to "protect the premium nature of the brand" (as infamously stated by H-D CEO Mark Levatich earlier this year.) But at the same time, it has struggled against recalls that, in the first 9 months of this year, have cost more than the previous 3 years combined – a staggering $32 million.
But in typical Harley-Davidson fashion, the company's solution to this string of business woes is, ironically, spending even more money on "customer-facing marketing." And I have to say, I think Harley's leadership is very misguided on this one.
The fact is, Harley's marketing is among the best in any business. It is one of the few companies in the world that has managed to transcend selling it's products, and actually sells an entire lifestyle. Their brand awareness is second-to-none – I'd wager there is scarcely a person in the entire country that wouldn't recognize a Harley-Davidson if they saw one. Harley-Davidson is an iconic brand that has truly permeated American culture. As far as marketing goes, you really can't be in a better position than that.
Where Harley-Davidson is falling short is, unfortunately, in the quality and value of its products. The value simply isn't there, and that's the real and very simple reason that less people are buying them.
Outside of Harley-Davidsons fanatical core customer base, Harleys have a reputation among the motorcycle riding community that is very well known. They are too heavy. They are too slow. Their brakes and suspensions generally suck. And they are overpriced. Even recent attempts by the company to introduce new models to recruit new customers, like the Street 500 ad 750, have not served to defeat that reputation, but instead have actually reinforced it.
The simple fact is that consumers know they can get more for their money elsewhere, and that's what they are doing. And is not an idea specific to one generation or another. Harley has put years of effort into recruiting younger riders while retaining the old core, but in recent years, it has been losing both, and that's because it simply isn't delivering value.
At the low end, younger riders might be lured to riding by Harley's sexy advertising, but when it comes down buying, many of them are realizing they can get a lot more for their money from a Yamaha Bolt or a Ducati Scrambler than from a Sportster or a Street. At the other end of the food chain, Harley's motorcycles typically appeal to well-heeled Boomers who can afford a car-sized budget for a motorcycle - but this doesn't mean they aren't researching sexy new alternatives from Victory, Indian and others. There's a reason Polaris is seeing record-breaking sales while Harley sales decline, and it's simple. American cruiser riders are switching brands.
The bottom line is that, regardless of age, budget, ethnicity, or anything else, we all want quality and value for our dollar - and that, unfortunately, is where Harley is falling short.
Harley-Davidson's marketing is excellent. That's not the problem. The problem is their bikes. I actually like Harleys. My first bike was a Harley, a 2005 Dyna Super Glide that I remember fondly. What I remember not so fondly was how shocked I was when I started riding other bikes, and realized how heavy, slow, and under-engineered my Harley really was.
I want to want a Harley. What I don't want is to spend $10-15K or more on one knowing full well I could have gotten a lot more bike from a different brand. There are more Harley alternatives than ever before on the market; and they are getting better, not worse, while Harley seemingly stays the same.
I am not a famous marketing guru or the CEO of a multi-national brand – just a lowly, average motorcycle rider. But I know a lot of other lowly, average motorcycle riders, and what we all want regardless of brand or riding style, is quality, performance, and value for our money. That is a constant. I think Harley-Davidson would go a lot farther taking that $35 million they plan to spend on more marketing an image, and put it into product R&D instead.
This is my advice to Harley-Davidson: give us a bike that actually performs. A ground-up redesign of a Sportster, perhaps, one that is true to its name: something traditional-looking, but light and powerful, with a kickass suspension, grabby brakes, and a frame size that won't make it the "girl Harley." Something that can take on the imports in magazine tests – and win. Something that looks good, but doesn't just look good. Custom bike builders have been doing Sportsters like this for years, and H-D would be wise to take some cues from them.
A bike like that would do a lot more to sell me a Harley than all the videos, magazine ads, and product placements you could ever shove in front of me. Spend the money on developing a bike that I don't have to make excuses for. I already know you exist, Harley-Davidson; just give me the quality, performance, and value I need, and you won't have to convince me to buy your bikes. I'll convince myself. If you want to "protect the premium nature of the brand" then do it with a premium bike, not a premium price tag. Stop selling me the sizzle, Harley, and give me the steak.
Because if you don't, I bet you that Polaris will.
By Aaron Cortez with Bike Bandit
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Do you love your FXR?
Well of course you do!
So let everyone know about your love
with one of these etched aluminum points cover's.
Each one is handmade from
1/4" thick 6061 billet aluminum.
Includes two stainless steel mounting screws.
You can get one HERE
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
If you're in the Raleigh area this weekend you should check this Awesome event out. I was lucky enough to be asked again this year to make the trophies for the Bike Show. I will be setup at the Ray Price Motorsports Expo in the Convention Center.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
WHAT IS THE GYPSY RUN?
The East Coast Gypsy Run started in 2007. Inspired by the El Diablo Run a bunch of like minded east coast motorcyclists meet up on the interwebs and planned a traditional run. Being in possession of some of the finest real estate in the world we thought that we should share a bit of it.
WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL RUN?
Simply put a traditional run is high milage and a metric ton of fun. While the modern run is essentially a forty mile coffee run with a lot of bolt on chrome compliments. A traditional run is riding, camping and a hell of a good party. A traditional run is geared toward the rider who feels out of place at a major rally or anywhere you find an excess of “Sons of Anarchy” patches.
WHO IS INVITED?
Generally? Everyone. Specifically? You. As long as you have your shit together, enjoy being around like minded folks and like to ride.
WHAT TYPE OF BIKES WILL BE ON THE RUN?
We tend towards older bikes of any make. Most of the bikes on previous runs were older Harleys. and garage built choppers. (The first year the Panheads out numbered the Shovelheads!) But don’t let that stop you, Ducatis, Evos, SR650s, Baggers, Sportbikes and Triumphs (old and new). All have rolled on the Gypsy Run. The point is, as long as you can hang, you are welcome. It is the person that makes the bike cool, not the other way around.
HOW LONG IS THE RUN?
We usually do around 500 miles. 250 on Friday. 250 Saturday. Sunday, ride home.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Don’t be a dick.
- There is no registration
- There is no fee to participate in the run.
- You are responsible for the campsite fee.
- You must check in at the campsite office
- The major costs for the run are paid for by the sponsors. So thank them.
- The beer at the campsites is free while it lasts. (21 and over)
- No one is going to hold your hand. Have your shit together.
- Show respect and you will get respect.
- Ride with your head. Find a pace you are comfortable with. It is not a race.
- The chase truck is for emergencies only. Please have a good reason for calling it.
- Do not ask chase truck to carry your crap.
- Clean up after yourself at the campsites.
- Make sure your brake light works.
- Bring rain gear. No matter the weather, we ride.
- If you’re unsure of how to deal with a challenging situation, please refer to rule number one.
- Have fun.
- We want everybody to have a great time, we just don’t want anyone to die while you are at it. So, Please do not drink and ride.